Commission endorses state Issue 1

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 29, 2005

"It's been one of the best things the state has ever done for local government."

That was the sentiment Thursday by several local officials as the Lawrence County Commission endorsed Issue 1 that will be on the November ballot.

Issue 1 would continue and expand what is now known as State Issue 2, which provides monies to local governments for infrastructure improvements - roads, bridges, water and sewer service.

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Lawrence County Engineer David Lynd said Issue 1 would include $1.35 billion for the old infrastructure program as well as additional monies for research and development and preparing industrial sites with infrastructure.

Over the last 20 years, Lawrence County and its local governments have received approximately $20 million for an assortment of road projects, water line service projects and sewer system improvements. That list includes $200, 000 for a new bridge on Little Solida Road, more than $350,000 for water and sewer system improvements in Coal Grove and more than $2 million for improvements to the Union-Rome Sewer System.

"Without it, we wouldn't have been able to do half of the things we've done over the years," said Tim Porter, the administrator with the Union-Rome Sewer System.

Lawrence County received $1.1 million in the last round of funding. The list of projects under way now include resurfacing work to portions of County Road 19 and County Road 4.

"Probably every paved township road was paved because of Issue 2 dollars," Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stephens said.

Lynd stressed that Issue 1 is not a tax increase. It is permission from the voters for the legislature to sell bonds annually to create funding for the various projects.

"It will not raise taxes and this is important for people to understand," Lynd said. "It is imperative that people vote 'yes' on this. It isn't everything everybody wants but it is a good system."